October 31, 2011

Trick OR Treat...Mainly just treats

Taking little Bris trick or treating in this particular neighborhood brought back a lot of memories. I used to trick or treat here every year...my parent's neighborhood. It's great. Houses pretty close together, friendly people, and good candy!!! This year Bristol and Jeffrey went in style. It was a great time! Enjoy some pictures of the kiddos in their costumes. We had Rapunzel, Frankenstein, and Nacho Libre!

Trick or Treaters ready for action! (How do you
get a 2 year old to smile for the camera? Geesh!)

Picture perfect!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!

To get things started with our Halloween festivities, my sister Annie came over and made these awesome Monster Mouths. So much fun! It was all in preparation for my Grandparent's annual Halloween Party. There are costumes, scary but yummy treats, and lots of fun! Annie ended up winning first place! So cool! I'll share how to make them below!

Tytan was Frankenstein, and TyRell was...TyRell black style.

Bristol as Rapunzel and I as Mother Gothel!

(More/better pictures of the kids coming tonight!)

The family!

And the best Olive Oil and Popeye I've ever seen!

Monster Mouths

You'll need green and red apples, peanut butter, candy corn,  marshmallows, and red icing if you want it!
Slice the apples, cover with peanut butter, cut off tips of candy corn, and add some chompers! 

October 30, 2011

Thoughts of Spiritual Uplift

"When the moment for decision arrives,
the time for preparation is past."
Thomas S. Monson

trail in Logan Canyon
What decisions will you make, and which path will they take down?

October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

I love carving pumpkins. Growing up my whole family would go to the pumpkin patch (aka WinCo) and each buy a pumpkin. We would then go home and carve all of them. This consisted of us kids drawing an intricate face picture on our pumpkin and Dad carving it out. The end result...the same squares and triangle faces on each pumpkin. We didn't have too many carving skills...but it was the absolute greatest! We loved it!

So, we went to work on our own this year. The kids didn't last too long. Bristol won't touch the innards, and Tytan wanted to eat them. It was pretty funny! The end result, quite the masterpiece!

The Farmstead

Getting out with two kids isn't always easy. The "luggage" you have to pack around, the dirty diapers you have to change in public, and the public restrooms you have to take your 2 year old to. Not to mention hoping that they behave and have a good time. It can be exhausting! I've found that as long as I pack our bags the night before, and just relax and go with the flow, the kids are way better behaved and we all have a blast. 
That said...
We went to "The Farmstead" last weekend and had a blast! Cousin Jeffie and Hazel accompanied us with Aunt Katie. There was just too much to do, and I took way too many pictures. But here are some of my favorites! Enjoy!

Bristol riding Snow Ball

Hahaha, I just realized Jeffie's head is for the girl, and
Bristol the boy. Oops!

They had swings made out of tires, in the form of cows! Cute!

Riding the Cow Train. Thanks Ty for capturing the moment.

October 28, 2011

For Mercy Sakes

Mercy sakes alive!

This is a Timber wolf killed in Sun Valley, ID by the fish and game.
I don't know why they killed it...
but would you really have to ask?

'Nuff said.

October 27, 2011

The Right place, The Right Time

Don't you just love it when you feel like you are in the right place at the right time? And things just click into place? It's like a breath of fresh air.

Often during my day I feel like I'm running at 100 mph trying to get things done, and so is everyone around me. It's exhausting. I've been trying to slow down a little bit, and wouldn't ya know it. Some good things have happened!

A couple of days ago I ran an errand to buy a metronome. On my way out I hear behind me a car door shut. I usually don't look, but I did. And guess what? My high school orchestra teacher! Ha! Who would have thought!

Then today I gave a violin lesson. (Her first with me.) It went really well, a few things to work on, but it should be a great relationship. While "getting it out" on facebook my Elementary and Jr. High orchestra teacher commented on my wall. Even crazier! This turns into an e-mail, followed by exchanging numbers.

And why would I tell all of you this?

Sometimes we put the past behind us, but I like to cling onto the people and the feelings that I have/had for them. I think it's so great to rekindle relationships and pick up where you left off. (Especially now that I'm an adult) and not a pupil. This is so great!

We are all people with feelings, lives, hard times, and good times. We all have talents, and we all have a story to tell. Remember that when you are in contact with people throughout your day. I'm so excited to meet up with  "people from my past" and get to know them better.

It is so fun living where I grew up again and bumping into old acquaintances. Hopefully I will bump into you too!


I have a new violin student.
She starts in 45 minutes.

I know, I shouldn't be on here.

But for some reason I have been really nervous about starting back up in the teaching world, and I just had to get it out to somebody.
Maybe it's because I have kids, maybe because it's been a year since I've had a student. 
I don't know. I'm just a bit nervous. 
Everything is ready to go...just missing a few books lost in the move.
I'll find them by next week hopefully.
Maybe I'm nervous because I love playing the violin, and I just want my student(s) to also.
(Yes, I hope I get more students.)

So, wish me luck. I'll let ya know how it goes.

So "...rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard..."

October 26, 2011

Hair Creations

It all started in Oakley. My mother-in-law does hair professionally. I had never thought to try this on little Bris. It is so cute! I didn't take a picture the first time around of the finished product, but tried it myself a while later back at home. I just love it on her. 
Grandma Stevens at work

Isn't she a cute little lady? 

October 25, 2011

Seen this?

Heard of The Killers? I love 'em. I found a video that you might like! I do anyway.

I love where he says something along the lines...your heart finds another chamber. LOVE it!

October 24, 2011

A couple of weeks ago my friend Diana asked me to write a post for her blog on Motherhood. I couldn't resist and sat down to do it that night. She just recently posted it to her blog, but I thought that I would share it with my readers as well! To read more, go here.

"Motherhood" is such a huge topic! I feel like I learn something new everyday, which is good I guess! I won't be the first to admit nor the last to deny that being a mom is hard. I think that the hard stuff changes with each phase of life too. Sometimes being a mom feels lonely, and we go unappreciated and unnoticed. However true this feels, it is so not true. Being a mom is such a wonderful gift, and a calling for us divine women from a Heavenly Father who knows we can do it! I love this quote,
"Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women." Sheri Dew

Here is one of the first big "Aha" moments I had as a new mom. 
I was once in conversation with someone who is highly accomplished by the world's standards (which isn't bad...just sayin'). This person asked "So, do you work?" While holding my infant daughter I quickly replied sheepishly "No. I'm just a mom." That night I realized how wrong I was. I'm not just a mom. I am a MOM! Never again did I ever say that I'm just a mom. That small world adds great meaning to the idea, and not in a good way. Being a mom is hard work, and thus should be exclaimed with pride! 

I have also learned to always have a Plan B, C, D, etc. etc. Motherhood is not boring, and will always surprise you when you least expect it. I'm still learning not to sweat the small stuff, and that people staring at me while at the grocery store with screaming children are only staring because they were just there doing the same thing with their children, and had forgotten how hard it is! (At least that's what I tell myself;)) 

There is also no perfect mom. It may seem like it when we read magazines, blogs, or talk to other friends. I've learned not to compare my weaknesses with someone else's strengths. It just isn't fair, and leads to negative feelings. I do set goals and strive to be better, but it takes time! I take it one day at a time, and know that my children will love me, and are so quick to forgive! I have learned to lose myself in love, and that each day my heart grows more full. 

I love being a MOM!

Mother of Bristol 2 1/2, and Tytan 7 months

Big T is 8 Months

Isn't he handsome? I sure think so!
As of October 24th, he is a whopping 8 months.
WOW! The time has sure flown by.
Here is what this guy is up to!

A wonderfully odd army crawl.
Sitting up all by himself.
Eating finger foods galore! 
Six teeth! (Four at once. Ouch!)
Babbles like crazy.
Sleeps like a champ.
A complete Mommy's boy. I hope that never changes :)
Loves his big sister, and watches over her like a hawk.
Doesn't quite like the sound of the violin...I'll work on that one.
Loves to go for walks outside.
LOVES dogs. (My future is flashing before my eyes. Here we go.)
Still won't hold his own bottle. Refer back to "Mommy's boy."

October 23, 2011

Thoughts of Spiritual Uplift

"A Child's Prayer"

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer every child's prayer?
Some say that Heaven is far away. 
But I feel it close around me as I pray.

Heavenly Father, I remember now.
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago.
"Suffer the children to come to me".
father in prayer I'm coming now to thee. 

Pray, He is there.
Speak, He is listening.
You are His child.
His love now surrounds you.

He hears your prayer.
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom.
The kingdom of Heav'n.

Go here to listen to the song. Click "words and music" to hear it all!

Sometimes life gets going so well, that I forget what it's like to have a trial. Then real life hits and something happens. This is the song that I always sing in my head, or hum as I'm going about my day.

I have a quote in my scriptures that says, "Trials are are an evidence of a Father's love. They are given as blessings to His children. They are given as opportunities for growth."
                                                                                      H. Burke Peterson

October 21, 2011


So, I started dance baton lessons at age 3. Ya, I was little. It was fun. I don't remember it that much early on, but I continued until 14 when we ran out of a coach. I loved it. Then I took other lessons and spent a while on the High School dance team. (A Capital Golden Girl if you must know).

I still love to dance and move. The only problem, making my post pregnancy body x's 2 move the way it used to.

Solution: ZUMBA! I love it. It's dancing, intense, and burns a lot of calories all at the same time. You don't have to be perfect at it either, and nobody will laugh at you if you mess up. I started a few months after having Bristol in Logan, and now have started back up again!

Do a little research and find a teacher near you! It is so worth it!

October 20, 2011

Finding Joy in the Journey

Yesterday I was doing the dishes (again) and tears just about came spilling out of my eyes. It had been a hard day. Sick kids, cleaning, dirty diapers, cleaning, sick kids, teething baby, cleaning, ugly telephone calls, etc. You get the picture.

Then-I laughed.

It hit me like a ton of bricks that my Mr. was going to come home beaten down and burdened with an even tougher day. I hate those days.

It made me think: "No matter what phase of life you are in, there are going to be tough days."

I remembered back to when Ty and I were first married. We had a teeny apartment, no kids, no furniture, and BIG dreams. We kept saying, this summer will be better when we are making good money. This went on for a couple years. We were happy, but had even BIGGER dreams. We will be happier when we start our family. Then we had Bristol and we were happier. Much happier. Then- We will be happier when we have our own house, don't have to move around a lot, a career "big boy" job, and continue to expand our family. Now we are there. Of course we are much happier and our love for each other and our kids have grown tremendously. We like to be positive about things and are forever grateful for the blessing we receive each day. We have made great friends every step of the way, and have really enjoyed the past 4 1/2 years.


I have learned that I need to breathe each moment in and really take life by the rains and just hang on. It can be a wild ride, but completely worth all the while. President Monson put it best when he said "Find Joy in the Journey." We are enjoying the journey.

My attitude quickly changed, and before my Mr. was home, dinner was set at the table (again) and we were chit chatting among the crying Big T. and talkative Bristol B. It was great. This is why we are here, this is exactly what we are up for. I'm counting my blessings each day, I love life. Even when it is hard. When I need to cry it out, I do it. When my Mr. needs to vent, I let him do it. We feel much better afterward! A hard time at work and a hard day with kiddos isn't what we will remember in 50 years, it's that WE DID IT!  Until that 50 year mark has hit, I'll just keep on keepin on!

And remember


October 19, 2011

The Sickies

I wish I looked that good while sick!

This poor little thing has been a bit down lately. Being sick is so hard, especially when you are a busy 2 1/2  year old. So, I did all of the things that my mom used to do for me when I was sick. It made being sick not so bad.
-watching movies all day if we wanted
-an activity to do while laying down (coloring)
-lay on the couch as long as we wanted
-and best yet: chopped ice with a bit of 7UP flavoring! (she loved it)

What things did your mom do for you?

October 18, 2011

My Sister-Missionary

You may know Ashley. Well, let me put it this way, you should all come to know Ashley. She is my second younger sister, and no words can quite describe the "life" she brings to the family. She is full of it, whimsical, spunky, and awesomely lovable.

She is in a rural town a little bit away from Pnom Phen, Cambodia serving a mission for our church. She has been there for one year and one month. She has gotten sick, had stitches put in her leg, dealt with some heat, and fallen in love with the people. As a brief update: she is doing AWESOME! I hear from her almost weekly via e-mail. It is one of the highlights of my week! Maybe I should include snip-its of her letters? Let me know if you are interested.

This is where I know she is supposed to be. However, that doesn't make it any easier for me here back at home. I miss that girl! She will come home April 2012. She may be looking forward to it, but when the time comes I'm sure she won't be quite ready to come home. I'll be ready and waitin'. I love ya Ash!

Ashley on her bike. I don't think I'll ever complain about our rain again!

Her companion Sister Pin. They always go in twos!

Aren't the people beautiful! Always happy too!

I think I'll make her wear that hat when she gets home! Gotta love it.

October 17, 2011

From the Vine

My all time favorite drink...juice drink I should say...is GRAPE! I credit this to my Grandma Doreen. She and I love our Welches Grape Juice. When I met TyRell and made it out to his house I also fell in love with his mom's   home made grape juice.

This last weekend we were down in Utah, and guess what we did? Made grape juice!!! The whole house smelled of concord grapes. I was in a bit of heaven. I thought I would share the process with ya!

What you'll need:

  • Water bath canner
  • A lot of Concord Grapes (one quart of juice needs 1 c. grapes)
  • A lot of sugar (one quart needs 1/2 c. sugar)
  • Quart size glass canning jars and lids
  • Time to do it all and a good sitter
  • and to make the job a lot easier a canning funnel, jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter(you can buy these essentials in a kit)

What you'll do: I broke this down into a lot of steps. Don't fret, it is really easy!

1. Wash all of your jars and rings. DO NOT re-use lids.
2. Stem and wash all of your grapes! This is the worst part...but hang in there. It is worth it! Have your kids    help ya!
Stemmed grapes smell so good!
3. Place lids in small pot of hot water on stove. Keep them there during your canning process. Lids have to be hot when placed on jars.
4. Get the water steaming in your canner. You will want it to continually steam, so keep it on a heat setting right for that. (Medium/High)
5. If your hot tap water isn't really hot, you will have to keep some hot water simmering on the stove (kettle would make filling jars easy!).
6. While the water is warming up, start filling your jars. Use the funnel for the grapes and sugar.
     1 c. grapes in the bottom
     1/2 c. sugar
     fill jar 1/4'' from the top with hot water (from step 5) (rinse the funnel out once with water)
7. With a clean, wet rag wipe the top of the jar clean. Check for any chips that could break a seal. If jar has a chip, don't use.
8. Grab your pot of lids and magnetic lid grabber and place lids on jars, followed by rings.Place pot back on stove to keep warm.
9. Shake the jars until sugar is dissolved while singing "Shake your booty."(hehe)
Your jar should look like this before sealing.
10. Place jars in canner. (Usually fits 7). Cover with lid. Once the steam resumes set timer for 15-20 minutes. While those are steaming fill more jars.
11. Remove jars with jar lifter and place on old towel on counter to cool. Be careful not to clink jars together as they could break!
This is what finished jars will look like!
My mother-in-law and I made just over 100 quarts for myself. It took 11/2 days (with breaks!)

How to tell if jars have sealed- You should hear a "pop" as the lids are sealing. Also, the top will be really firm. 
What if my lids don't seal? Every batch will have a few that don't seal. If a TON aren't sealing either you are doing something wrong, or it was a faulty box of lids. Don't panic. Tip the jar upside down and wait a while. If that doesn't work you may have to replace the lid and re-seal. (Only do this if a lot of the jars didn't seal. If it's only one or two, just drink them right away!)

Store your jars in a cool, dark place. Enjoy!

**For more information on canning, click here for a good website.


October 16, 2011

Thoughts of Spiritual Uplift

"Suppose no one is as handsome or as beautiful as he or she wishes, or as brilliant in school or as witty in speech or as wealthy as we would like, but in a world of varied talents and fortunes that we can't always command, I think that makes even more attractive the qualities we can command-such qualities as thoughtfulness, patience, a kind word, and true delight in the accomplishment of another. These cost us nothing, and they can mean everything to the one who receives them."
Jeffrey R. Holland

October 15, 2011


So, today on Facebook it says that today is "Worldwide Pregnancy, and Infant Loss Remembrance Day-Miscarriage, Stillbirth, SIDs."

I thought it interesting that my Mr. and I chose today of all days to support a local cause in Kamas, Ut. You see, little Kinley passed away about a month ago. Her mother Paige was my Mother in law's Young Woman in church. Kinley was 7 months old. Sure, she didn't pass away at our near birth, and it wasn't SIDS either, but she is gone from this Earthly existence none the less. Paige is raising money for funeral costs and a headstone. She is only 21 years old.

Can I just re-iterate my testimony about eternal families. I am so grateful for them. I have both of my babies, and I don't know what it is like to lose one. But  to those of you who have, you will see them again! This doesn't mean that losing a baby/child won't be difficult, but it just might make life a little bit easier.

To those of you who have lost a child, I love you, and your Heavenly Father loves you.

God Bless.

October 13, 2011

Laundry Miracle

Isn't it so aggravating when you open up your washer or drier and find a mess? Anything from washing and drying a crayon, gum, or having colors fade is such a pain.

Well, last night around 11 PM I had this nagging thought to go put the brights in the drier. Nah, too tired.

Big Mistake.

This morning after putting them in the drier, I pulled them out to find that HOT PINK had bled on to Bristol's light pink jacket, and Tytan's shirt. I was so mad. Every single article of clothing had been washed multiple times and shouldn't have bled....unless you leave them over night in the washer. Oh mercy. Totally my fault.

So, I washed the bled on clothes again. Nope.
Soaked them. Helped a little.
Soaked them in HOTT water with Oxy Clean and All. Yay!!! I couldn't believe it. Stains are out!

Here are my laundry must haves:
All Free and Clear detergent
Oxy Clean ( the BIG box)
Murphey's Oil Soap (great for greasy stains)
Stain removing bar soap ( I have Fels-Napthia Heavy Duty)

What is in your laundry room?

October 12, 2011

I'm so glad that we call it "Potty Training" and not "Potty Perfection."

Some days I feel like I didn't do any work in getting Bristol b potty trained. But then I have to remember that she is only 2. I'm 21 and holding, and I still have close calls. C'mon, don't deny that you don't do the potty dance every once in a while.

So of course I got it on the camera. Couldn't resist. Poor thing will probably get back at me for this one some day. Just living proof that we aren't perfect at our house!

P.S. I know...the hair. She insists on two braids. I try!

October 11, 2011

Candy Only!

I'm not the master mind behind this one, that would be my sister. However, I did make it all by myself and it only took 15 minutes! (You may not be amazed, but for a crafting dummie you should be proud!)

A Halloween Trick or Treat bucket that is too cute to boot! I just can't wait until it's filled with candy!

You'll need:

1 bucket (this was plastic see through, allowing for decorations in and out, with a lid too!)
fun Halloween scrapbook paper
tape/glue/rubber cement etc. anything sticky!

October 10, 2011

My "Almost" Child

Have you ever heard of "Almost" children? Well, I have one.

Don't know what they are? Let me explain.

Me: Ty, will you please  clear off the table?
Ty: Sure

A few minutes pass.

Me: Ty, is the table cleared off? (As I'm secretly staring at it.)
Ty: YE-ES!

The table has the ketchup, a hot pad, and a glass on it.

Trust me, I'm not complaining! I actually have to just laugh at it. It really is hysterical! It made me think "What would happen if I was an 'almost' mom? Almost fix dinner, almost do the laundry, almost clean the bathrooms. Ha! Wouldn't everyone be absolutely miserable?

Here's a 'woot woot' for being a get 'er done...all the way mom!!

October 9, 2011

Thoughts of Spiritual Uplift

It scares me.
Am I afraid to die?
I'm afraid of what I would leave behind.
I'm afraid of those I love passing away.

What a depressing way to start a blog post right? Sorry, but church got me thinking today.

Death is a scary topic, that no one talks about much. You have probably had someone close to you pass away, as have I. Two close friends, Great-Grandparents, and an infant cousin. I have actually been fairly fortunate to not experience a lot of tragedy in my life, and for that I am truly grateful.

What I am even more grateful for is my faith in a loving Heavenly Father. You see, I believe that He loves us so much, that He devised a plan where families can be together forever. I'll see my friends and family after I die in Heaven. Isn't that beautiful?

We talked about this in church today. I thought it ironic that it was the same day I chose to wear a certain piece of jewelry. A watch that was given to me by my deceased Great-Grandmother, before she died. I hardly ever wear it, and on the day that I did I was reminded that she isn't that far away, I'll see her again.
Isn't it beautiful. A vintage Elgin wind up watch.

I believe that I will be reunited with those I love in Heaven. This brings me so much joy! I'll believe it for you too ;)

October 8, 2011

Picky Eater Solved

Bristol is a picky eater. It has been a battle for quite some time. You could probably agree with your kids, or kids you know. It just happens. I keep offering and offering different things, but it's always the same. 

Well, on a whim one day I created this:
Grilled cheese, strawberries, fish crackers
I know, maybe not the healthiest selection, but it's a start! Every day now Bristol asks for her "face lunch!" It makes me giggle inside.

Now on to happy and healthy eating!

Now if you want to get really fancy, check out the blog "Fun Food Fridays" on my side bar. She is insanely creative!

October 7, 2011

Cookies 'n Milk

I'm always taken back at how some of the most simple things create lasting memories. For example:

Tonight I called the family around the table for cookies and milk. We laughed and giggled, and ended up staying around the table for quite a while. I just took every second of it in...slowly. It was so much fun.

Then it hit me. I know why this is so much fun! Flash back to my younger years.

Dunking cookies (and not any cookies I might mention, Chips Ahoy) was serious business in my family. My dad had rules for the family event. I'll paint the scene.

The whole family, 6 girls, mom and dad, would sit around the table with our shallow glasses full of milk. We each also had a stack of cookies right next to us. A large box of Chips Ahoy! would be in the middle of the table for when we ran out. You would think we were about to play a serious game of ROOK or something, but no. Just dunking cookies. Here are the rules:

1. Don't dunk your first cookie in the milk until dad says "One, two, three dunk."
2. Don't let your cookie break while soaking


I heard a mom once say "Feed your teenagers cookies, and you can get anything out of 'em."
Rang true in our family. Didn't matter what time of day or night, we would dunk. It was the best. This tradition even carried over into our family rafting trips on the Salmon River. If you have dunked with our family, you are a lucky few. Seriously!
Seems funny and a bit strange perhaps, but some great conversations came out of dunking cookies.
Hopefully we are on the right track!

BTW, rules don't count for the little ones! :) 

Even Big T enjoyed some cookie!

October 5, 2011

You Make Me HAPPY When Skies are Grey

If you were to ask me "What is your favorite season?" I would quickly respond SUMMER! I love the heat, love the tan, the water, love everything about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm no seasonal depression gal. I love certain parts of the other seasons but overall summer is best! 

Today however, I realized that there are some great things about rainy and grey days. Yesterday it was completely overcast. Today it rained. Take that back. It POURED. I had to get the kiddos myself out of the house after spending yesterday indoors. I was completely restless. However, getting soaked putting the kids in the car, taking them out, and putting them back in a few more times didn't quite do it for me. So we came home. It was sweet! I was almost giddy as I grabbed my old college hoodie and sweat pants, slipped on my pink fuzzy slippers, and played on the floor with the kids. Times like that are meant for colder weather! (Some wood to start a fire in the fireplace would have been nice, but I won't complain.)

These two make me HAPPY when skies are grey.
Gotta love that orange carrot nose!
And then my Mr. came home. So make that the three that make me HAPPY!
 My Mr. literally acted out Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton. 
If you haven't read it, you should!
Great kids book.

And to top everything off, Bristol wanted to wear her new shoes to bed, and her prayer (as always) was hilarious. So, no more complaining about grey skies!

October 4, 2011


They say "Home is where your heart is." Well, our hearts have definitely settled here. We love it. The space that we have is amazing! Come on by and say hi! We would love visitors!
Est. 9.9.11
side yard...don't get lost lil' Bris